17 Jul 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

63% of car owners delay servicing and repair work because of COVID-19 concerns

Lockdown restrictions have prompted 63% of car owners to delay servicing and repair work over the last few months, even though 86% admitted they know dealer workshops and garages are open for business, according to research by Bumper.

Bumper, the new name for Auto Service Finance, polled the views of 2,635 car owners in February to see whether decisions on having their vehicles maintained had been impacted by the pandemic.

“Our research highlights a worrying trend with most car owners admitting to being concerned about taking their vehicles into garages and dealerships as a result of COVID-19 restrictions,” said James Jackson, Bumper’s CEO and co-founder.

“This raises safety concerns as service schedules are being stretched and repair work is being put off. Dealers and garages need to allay customer fears by reassuring them that Covid-19 secure guidelines are in place with timed appointments, contactless handovers, vehicle sanitation and social distancing.”

Bumper’s research also identified that 53% would prefer to pay for work remotely by phone, laptop or computer, while 57% said their preference had changed as a direct result of COVID-19.

James added: “As we work through the current lockdown it’s increasingly apparent that customers want reassurance from dealerships and garages. Encouraging them to pay remotely is an easy win, especially as most businesses are already set up to take payments over the phone, suggesting that communicating this option needs to be more widely promoted.”