Motorists have reduced the mileage between two workshop visits – a sign that fewer motorists are deferring essential service and maintenance work, suggests research conducted by Castrol Professional.
A series of face-to-face surveys were conducted during the first quarter of this year, with over 3,300 British drivers responsible for maintaining their car.
Results showed that the average number of miles covered by motorists between trips to the workshop dropped from 6,331 miles in 2012 to 5,921 miles in 2013 – a year-on-year reduction of 6.5%.
This is the first major reduction in mileage between maintenance and repair work since the start of the recession, suggesting greater consumer confidence and spending power as the economy recovers.
The new mileage-between-services figure is 8% lower than the peak in 2011, when motorists appeared to put vehicle servicing off as long as possible, with average mileage between services being 6,441 miles.
However, the recovery still has some way to go. Historic findings from earlier versions of the annual research suggest that the latest figure is 9.2% higher than in 2008, when motorists travelled just 5,422 miles between workshop visits.
Consumers are still looking at various ways to cut the cost of motoring, notably by reducing their overall vehicle usage. According to the research, motorists’ total annual mileage has shown a consistent fall in recent years – a 2.8% reduction from 2011 to 2013, to an average 7,429 miles driven annually.
Head of marketing, Castrol, UK & Ireland, Nigel Head, said: “The reduction in miles travelled between maintenance works is indicative of greater market confidence, and dealers are beginning to witness a gradual growth in workshop footfall. This slight recovery in workshop visits is consistent with the recent growth in car sales.
“Dealers have every reason to be optimistic, but aftersales departments need to ensure they work hard to encourage new and existing customers to return to the franchised dealership for servicing, maintenance and repair work. Workshops have a number of tools at their disposal to help them do this, such as extended manufacturer warranties, keen aftersales pricing and manufacturer recommendations for genuine parts and engine lubricants.”