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Car Service and Maintenance - UK - December 2014

“In a market where competition between those offering services is high, a major challenge for any supplier is how to grow sales. Understanding both the reasons behind competition as well as the demands of drivers and owners is crucial. Equally, addressing the small percentage of drivers that don’t appear to service or maintain their vehicles on a regular basis offers the opportunity of a completely new market from which to tap sales. ”
– Neil Mason, Head of Retail Research

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Demands of older drivers
  • The few who do not proactively maintain their car
  • Competition within the market

This report presents a review of the UK market for car servicing and maintenance. It focuses on both commercial and DIY servicing/maintenance of cars as well as associated replacement/fitting of parts. The performance of the market has been strongly impacted in the last five years by the poor performance of both the UK economy and the car market. Both weathered a difficult period during 2008/09 but are now showing evidence of a strong recovery.

The sector is valued at an estimated £8.68 billion in 2013 and benefits from the fact that a large percentage of drivers either service their main car at the time of an MOT or at a specified time or mileage. Yet despite this, our research does highlight differences in the types of drivers that service at particular times which in turn has important implications for all of those operating in this market.

Our research has also highlighted the relatively high fragmentation of the market for servicing and maintenance services. Although there are three large groups of commercial providers of such services (independent garages, franchised dealers, fast-fit garages), a sector such as independent garages which accounts for over half of revenues itself consists of nearly 15,000 outlets.

Exclusive research undertaken for this report suggests that only 3% of motorists do not service their main car on a regular basis although a further 8% of drivers do admit to only servicing when a problem arises. When it does come to choosing a commercial outlet, quality of work is the most important factor, followed by past use and trust that unnecessary additional work would not be recommended.

Service, maintenance and repair services comprise a range of support for car owners who require regular or ad hoc support for their cars. Such services have grown in recent years as a growing number of drivers have eschewed DIY servicing and maintenance, with outlets commonly approached for such services comprising:

  • Independent garages
  • Franchised dealers
  • Fast-fit centres
  • Autocentres and
  • Mobile mechanics

This report covers the purchase of service and maintenance services by the general public. It includes services that may be sub-contracted where the ultimate customer is someone of the general public.

Exluded from this report are:

  • Services offered for commercial vehicles such as vans are excluded from this analysis.
  • Work that is undertaken under warranty or for insurance purposes where no payment is incurred by the consumer is excluded from market analysis. 

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Scope of this report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Sluggish performance from servicing, maintenance and repair market
              • Figure 1: UK car servicing, maintenance and repair market, by value, at current prices, 2010-20
            • Average expenditure suffers a decline
              • Figure 2: Average expenditure on servicing, maintenance and repair market, by value, at current prices, 2010-15
            • Expansion in car parc presents opportunities
              • Figure 3: UK car parc (new and used car registrations), 2010-15
            • Companies, brands and innovation
              • Independent garages are the most important channel
                • Figure 4: UK car servicing and maintenance: channel share by value, 2015 (est)
              • Advertising expenditure represents a small share of revenues
                • Figure 5: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on car servicing and maintenance, by service type, 2011-15
              • Service innovations dominate activity
                • The consumer
                  • Second-hand cars are preferred
                    • Figure 6: Vehicle ownership, August 2015
                  • A significant percentage of cars in ownership are over six years old
                    • Figure 7: Age of car driven, August 2015
                  • Two thirds of car owners take personal responsibility for maintenance
                    • Figure 8: Responsibility for maintenance and servicing, August 2015
                  • Under £500 annual expenditure is typical
                    • Figure 9: Amount spent on maintenance and servicing, August 2015
                  • Most maintenance is undertaken at a service or a MOT
                    • Figure 10: When car is serviced, August 2015
                  • Role of DIY and others varies depending on work to be undertaken on car
                    • Figure 11: Where car is serviced, August 2015
                  • Quality of service is most important factor sought
                    • Figure 12: Importance of factors when maintaining or servicing a car, August 2015
                  • Split opinions towards the internet
                    • Figure 13: Interest in use of internet comparison websites, August 2015
                  • What we think
                  • Issues and Insights

                    • Dealing with an underperforming market
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Benefitting from the growing car parc
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • Women represent an opportunity
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                      • Revenues suffer fall then rebound
                                        • Annual expenditure down at £260 per vehicle
                                          • UK car parc sees expansion
                                            • Older vehicles now make up a greater percentage of the market
                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                              • Revenues prove sluggish despite strong economic growth and new car market
                                                • Figure 14: Best- and worst-case forecasts of car servicing, maintenance and repair market, by value, at current prices, 2010-20
                                                • Figure 15: UK car servicing, maintenance and repair market, by value, at current and constant prices, 2010-20
                                            • Segment Performance

                                              • Around £260 per year is spent on servicing and maintenance annually
                                                • Figure 16: Average expenditure on servicing, maintenance and repair market, by value, at current prices, 2010-15
                                              • Car repair costs around the UK
                                                • Figure 17: Average car maintenance servicing and repair costs in the UK, by region, 2015
                                              • Distance travelled for car servicing
                                              • Market Drivers

                                                • New and used car sales remain buoyant…
                                                  • Figure 18: New and used car market volumes, 2010-15
                                                • ...driving up size of the car parc
                                                  • Figure 19: Total UK car parc (new and used registrations), 2010-15
                                                • Older vehicles benefit from expansion in the car parc
                                                  • Figure 20: Age structure of the car parc in years, 2012, 2013 and 2014
                                                • Interest in vehicle replacement likely to fall in the coming three years
                                                  • A fall in distance travelled is also evident
                                                    • Figure 21: Trips, distance travelled and time taken, 2004-14
                                                  • Service intervals and MOTs are important times for scheduled maintenance
                                                    • Figure 22: When car is serviced, August 2015
                                                  • Many motorists have a laissez-faire attitude towards faults…
                                                    • …as well as delaying on repairs
                                                      • Interest in DIY depends on type of work involved
                                                        • Other factors influencing the market
                                                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                          • Independent garages account for over half of all revenues
                                                            • Revenue growth good for many of the larger specialists
                                                              • Improvements taking place at a site level to make them customer-friendly
                                                                • Outlet numbers suffer a fall
                                                                  • Advertising represents a small percentage of revenues
                                                                  • Market Share

                                                                    • Independents garages dominate market
                                                                      • Figure 23: UK car servicing and maintenance: channel share by value, 2015 (est)
                                                                  • Companies and Services

                                                                    • Many operators see good revenue performance
                                                                      • Figure 24: Leading autocentres’ turnover, 2010-15
                                                                    • Profitability is proving more of a challenge
                                                                      • Figure 25: Leading autocentres’ operating profits, 2010-15
                                                                    • Dealer market is dominated by big groups
                                                                      • Figure 26: Top ten main dealership groups in the UK, by turnover, 2014
                                                                    • Investment in facilities
                                                                      • Highlighting key safety issues
                                                                        • Service plans offered by the leading vehicle manufacturers
                                                                          • Figure 27: Leading vehicle manufacturers’ servicing plans, 2015
                                                                        • Price plays a major part in choosing where maintenance/servicing is undertaken
                                                                        • Channels to Market

                                                                          • Total number of outlets are in decline
                                                                            • Figure 28: Aftermarket outlets for sales of replacement parts 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015
                                                                          • Independent garages dominate in terms of outlet numbers
                                                                            • Franchised dealers and fast fit outlet numbers stabilise
                                                                                • Figure 29: Top 10 tyre and exhaust fitting centres, by number of outlets, 2012, 2013 and 2015
                                                                              • Autocentre sector dominated by Halfords
                                                                                • Figure 30: Leading autocentres, by number of outlets, 2013 and 2015
                                                                              • The internet
                                                                              • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                • Fluctuating advertising expenditure
                                                                                  • Figure 31: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on car servicing and maintenance, by service type, 2011-14
                                                                                • MOT, servicing and tuning dominate expenditure
                                                                                  • Figure 32: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on car servicing and maintenance, by service type, 2011-14
                                                                                • Kwik Fit tops the list of advertisers
                                                                                  • Figure 33: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure by car servicing and maintenance channel, by advertiser, 2014
                                                                                • Fast fit and autocentres increase expenditure
                                                                                  • Figure 34: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure by car servicing and maintenance channel, by advertiser, 2011-14
                                                                                • Press and radio advertising dominate
                                                                                  • Figure 35: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure by car servicing and maintenance channel, by media type, 2011-14
                                                                                • A note on adspend
                                                                                • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                    • Halfords invests in a new concept centre
                                                                                      • Figure 36: Halfords’ new format autocentre in Croydon, 2015
                                                                                    • Remote automotive diagnostics app
                                                                                      • Free online vehicle management service
                                                                                        • Authorising repairs remotely using camera technology
                                                                                          • Price matching car servicing options
                                                                                            • Oil changing cut down to 90 seconds
                                                                                              • UK’s first extended cover for electric vehicles
                                                                                                • Andrew Page opens customer-focused retail stores
                                                                                                  • Service plan extended to used cars
                                                                                                    • Garage compare site
                                                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                      • Used cars dominate the market
                                                                                                        • Broad spectrum of vehicles of different ages
                                                                                                          • Women, young adults and high earners rely more on others
                                                                                                            • 70% spend up to £500 annually on servicing and maintenance
                                                                                                              • Servicing and MOTs are common times for maintenance
                                                                                                                • DIY is limited by the complexity of the maintenance task
                                                                                                                  • Quality is the most important factor sought from service providers
                                                                                                                    • Mixed views towards internet comparison websites
                                                                                                                    • Car Ownership

                                                                                                                      • Most car owners bought their vehicle used
                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Car ownership, August 2015
                                                                                                                      • Car ownership is the preserve of older adults
                                                                                                                        • London – A city of contrasts
                                                                                                                          • Income impacts on owning from new or buying used
                                                                                                                          • Age of Car Driven

                                                                                                                            • Car parc shows evidence of a focus towards newer cars
                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Age of car driven, August 2015
                                                                                                                            • Older adults prefer older cars
                                                                                                                              • Location, employment and socio-economic status also impact on age of vehicle ownership
                                                                                                                                • Strong car market boosts profile of new cars
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Age of car driven, 2011-15
                                                                                                                              • Responsibility for Maintenance and Servicing

                                                                                                                                • Two thirds of drivers responsible for own maintenance
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Responsibility for maintenance and servicing, August 2015
                                                                                                                                • Women want others to assist
                                                                                                                                  • Many of the youngest car owners rely on someone else
                                                                                                                                    • Income appears to have some impact on maintenance choices
                                                                                                                                    • Amount Spent on Maintenance and Servicing

                                                                                                                                      • Majority spend less than £500 annually on their vehicle
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Amount spent on maintenance and servicing, August 2015
                                                                                                                                      • Income plays a major part in what is spent on maintenance and servicing
                                                                                                                                        • Larger households spend more in certain bands
                                                                                                                                          • Men spend more on maintenance and servicing
                                                                                                                                            • Those with the newest cars tend to pay more or pay nothing at all
                                                                                                                                              • Interest in spending more on maintenance and servicing is limited
                                                                                                                                              • When a Car is Serviced

                                                                                                                                                • Specified times and MOTs are most popular times for servicing
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: When car is serviced, August 2015
                                                                                                                                                • Older and younger adults have different thoughts on maintenance
                                                                                                                                                  • …as are men and women
                                                                                                                                                    • Urban and rural car owners show different preferences
                                                                                                                                                      • Income is an important factor in determining service strategy
                                                                                                                                                        • New car owners prefer specified servicing
                                                                                                                                                          • Distress servicing focuses on minimal expenditure
                                                                                                                                                          • Choices When It Comes to Servicing and Maintenance

                                                                                                                                                            • Complexity of job impacts on choice to undertake work
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Where car is serviced, August 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Women show a strong preference for using others while men for undertaking DIY
                                                                                                                                                              • Older and wealthier adults hone in on dealers while younger drivers have more complex preferences
                                                                                                                                                                • Interest in DIY varies depending the complexity of the work involved
                                                                                                                                                                  • Dealers and fast fit outlets show geographical differences in popularity
                                                                                                                                                                    • Owners of new cars are wedded to the services of dealers …
                                                                                                                                                                      • …while those with older cars prefer independents and DIY
                                                                                                                                                                        • Retailer fitting services more popular with those spending large amounts on their car
                                                                                                                                                                        • Importance of Factors for Servicing and Maintenance

                                                                                                                                                                          • Quality is sought by nearly all car owners
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Importance of factors when maintaining or servicing a car, August 2015
                                                                                                                                                                          • Old and young adults have especially strong demands
                                                                                                                                                                            • Urban drivers want confidence in service providers and more!
                                                                                                                                                                            • Internet Comparison Websites

                                                                                                                                                                              • Variable interest in use of comparison websites
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Interest in use of internet comparison websites, August 2015
                                                                                                                                                                              • Age is an important factor in affecting interest
                                                                                                                                                                                • Urban drivers are also a good prospect
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Wealthier car owners are ideally positioned as pioneers for this type of service
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Those spending most on their cars show strongest interest in such a service
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Exclusions
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Market sizing and segment performance
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                              • ATS Euromaster
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Bank of England
                                                                                                                                                                                              • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ford Motor Company Limited (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • General Motors Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Halfords Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hyundai Car (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Kia Motors UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Kwik-Fit Group Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Mr Clutch Autocentres
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Pendragon plc
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Peugeot Motor Company Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Renault (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Robert Bosch Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • SEAT SA
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Vauxhall Motors Ltd

                                                                                                                                                                                              Car Service and Maintenance - UK - December 2014

                                                                                                                                                                                              £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)