Australian vehicle owners have made their preferences very clear following a comprehensive survey of more than 1,500 private vehicle owners across the country commissioned by Australia’s peak body representing independent automotive repairers, component manufacturers and marketers, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA).
Conducted for the AAAA by leading Australian consumer research firm, The Klein Partnership (TKP), this detailed consumer survey is the first of its kind to directly question Australian vehicle owners’ preferences relating to the repair, maintenance and accessorising of their cars.
An overwhelming 86% of car owners who took part in the survey claimed to personally know and trust the skill and expertise of their local automotive repairer and are loyal to their mechanic. The results of this detailed consumer study found that the skills, expertise, trustworthiness and personal relationship developed with a local automotive repairer assume far more importance in terms of generating long term consumer loyalty, as opposed to other factors including prestigious premises and even cost, which was a low priority in their decision making.
Consumers surveyed also displayed a significantly higher level of satisfaction with the services provided by independent repairers as opposed to the services provided by car manufacturer dealer service centres. The consumer survey responses also revealed that Australian vehicle owners are sceptical about capped price servicing and extended warranty claims.
An important finding of this AAAA consumer survey was that 55% of the decisions about where to get a car serviced or repaired are made by women. There is no doubt from the survey findings that automotive service and repair businesses that generate trust with their female customers will continue to enjoy business growth through loyal repeat business.
According to the AAAA consumer survey results, 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.
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.
Several of these factors point towards the continued retention of vehicles by Australian consumers over extended periods of time (and particularly beyond manufacturer warranty periods) making the role of independent automotive repairers and service providers integral to ensure vehicle maintenance and safety, long after warranties or service agreements have expired.
According to AAAA Executive Director Stuart Charity, this landmark consumer survey has provided a number of far reaching insights to consumer attitudes relating to the service, maintenance and accessorising of their vehicles.
“The results of this extensive consumer study exceeded our expectations,” Mr Charity stated. “It is more than clear that independent, local automotive repairers are the businesses of choice for Australian vehicle owners, placing a complete full stop to any car manufacturer or dealer service centre rhetoric that is to the contrary”.
“The data gained from this large group of consumers uncovers a number of consumer trends and preferences that will ensure that local, independent automotive repairers are able to provide even more trustworthy, efficient and high value services to their customers into the future”.
“This is particularly important as more Australian car owners become aware that they definitely have a choice of repairer – their automotive servicing and repair decision is not limited to new car dealerships, no matter how old the vehicle is,” Mr Charity stated.