Majority of Consumers Turn to a Professional for Automotive Service, Repair

The majority of automobile owners are do-​it-​for-​me (DIFM) consumers when it comes to auto service or repair, according to recent research by The NPD Group, a leading market research company. The auto aftermarket research report finds that the choice to have DIFM auto services is largely due to the need to maintain a car properly in order to keep it longer, and a higher degree of trust in professional auto services than do-​it-​yourself auto repair. 

The NPD report, entitled "Consumers Shifting Gears to Do-​It-​For-​Me Outlets," finds that 68% of today's drivers say they will have all automotive service and repair performed by a professional. Twenty-​nine percent of consumers said they will sometimes have professional auto service and some they will do themselves, and 8% said they rarely have their auto repair or maintenance done by a professional.

"With consumers still focused on spending only on those things they absolutely need, many are finding professional automotive service a necessity in the family budget," says David Portalatin, industry analyst for NPD's automotive aftermarket unit. "Reliable personal transportation is something that most consumers must have; it's not a nice-to-have."

Reliability is the operative word in the minds of consumers when selecting an auto repair professional. According to the NPD report, which explores factors that drive consumers to switch between DIFM outlets, 88% of DIFM consumers said trust in the work completed is a very important influence in selecting an auto repair outlet. Knowledgeable employees and the reputation of the outlet or automotive professional also rank high.

Although trust and reputation rank high in the selection process, value appears to be another key driver and the reason for an increasing number of DIFM consumers using car dealerships and tire stores for their auto repairs and maintenance. The Consumers Shifting Gears to DIFM Outlets report finds that consumers perceive these outlets as bringing more coupons and promotional offers to the table.

"The economy is forcing shifts in consumer behavior and this is true for the DIFM consumer," says Portalatin. "Knowing who is winning in the market and how they are doing it will enable both suppliers and installers to collaborate to craft winning strategies."

[Source:  "Consumers Shifting Gears to Do-​It-​For-​Me Outlets."  The NPD Group.  29 Aug. 2011.  Web.  30 Aug. 2011.]