22 Jun 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

The Motor Ombudsman survey: Rising costs post biggest challenge for garages in 2024

75% of vehicle repair businesses expect  rising costs to be their biggest operational challenges through 2024, the annual survey of independent garages and franchised dealer workshops undertaken by The Motor Ombudsman has found.

58% also expect to be paying more for parts. As a result of higher spending, 54% said they would have to increase prices. This is despite the fact that 54% also believe motorists will be putting off essential repairs, with 49% of those drivers also expected to postpone routine maintenance. During 2023, 53% of respondents reported that their customers were putting off bringing their cars in.

On recruitment, 58% of repairers had concerns, 2% up on last year. However, attitudes around the profit opportunities in the EV market improved. 26% saw fewer additional revenue opportunities from this segment compared with traditional powertrain vehicles, which was actually a 6% improvement on 2023’s finding.  52% said they would be recruiting, with 35% looking to refurb their garage. A fifth are planning to add workshop and MOT bays, as well as EV charge points.


Commenting on the findings, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman Bill Fennell, said: “Our latest study presents a clear picture in that garages and workshops will still have to contend with a number of underlying challenges this year, with rising costs one of the most pertinent, as this ultimately affects their bottom line. This will need to be balanced with the need to remain competitive in order to deliver an attractive proposition to motorists, at a time when household budgets remain under strain.”

For more information, visit: www.TheMotorOmbudsman.org