The average number of retail services carried out per car has fallen by 27% in the last decade down to 0.93, in comparison to 1.28 servicing visits per car in 2002.
The statistics from the 2013 Castrol Professional Car Servicing & Repair Trend Tracker report shows that more customers are putting off services and repair work.
The data is heavily weighted towards independents, with analysis based on job card analysis from 15,575 indies and then franchised dealers accounted for 5,335 job cards in the analysis. Additional data was also taken from between 2,750-3,850 bodyshops.
The data shows the number of retail mechanical repairs carried out on each car has also fallen, from 0.77 in 2002 to 0.72 in 2012 – though this figure fell to as low as 0.64 repairs per car per year in 2007 and 2008.
Together, the instances of routine servicing and repair jobs has fallen from an average 2.06 per car per year to 1.65 in the last decade – a fall of 20%.
Chris Oakham, Trend Tracker analyst, said: “The fall in retail services per car is a result of increasingly longer servicing intervals ageing through the car parc, coupled with a trend of declining average annual mileages.
“The long-term downward trend in the number of repairs per car is most likely due to real improvements to the quality of modern vehicles, but is also very likely influenced by many owners putting off non-essential repair work when money was tight during the recession.”
Jo Clayton, Castrol franchised workshop marketing manager – UK & Ireland, said: "The number of annual visits to workshops is falling every year and this is bad news for aftersales outlets.
“While more extensive repairs may be required as a car gets older, this won’t necessarily offset the effect of customers visiting the workshop less frequently.
“Businesses therefore need to do all they can to attract customers to the workshop and make the most out of every visit.
“Installing an electronic visual health check system can help identify additional legitimate repair work, with clear print-outs to help service advisors in upselling and tracking work for later follow-ups.”