Never miss a Repairs & Servicing discount code!
Get exclusive offers straight to your inbox
Get exclusive offers straight to your inbox
No matter what sector or market you are exploring, there will always be a handful of products and retail industries which rely more on expertise and know-how than physical products. In these cases, what a business or retailer is looking to sell is an experience or service, rather than an actual object – leaning on the quality of the service provision in ascertaining whether the consumer receives a high value product or not.
In the automotive market, this sector is the repairs and servicing industry – reliant on the experience, expertise and ability of certain professionals who have been trained to be able to identify, isolate and create solutions for various issues which arise across all manner of different motor vehicles. While there are some large brand names and retailers out there operating within this industry, most consumers rely on the expertise of local tradesmen and mechanics in sorting out their repairs and servicing needs, meaning that much of the industry and its pricing structure is down to the varying strategies of different local businesses. Where one may charge a premium, another could offer the exact same service at half the price – it all comes down to the individual operator or service provider, their location, competitor pricing, and the scale of the job.
Every time something new is invented, particularly something as magnanimous as the first motor vehicles, a new profession has opened up. In the case of the automotive sector and the invention of motor cars and vehicles, an opening for industry experts became clear, with demand growing almost overnight for those who could identify issues with automotive vehicles and fix them.
The very first motor cars - which were more like golf carts than modern cars – were most often fixed and repaired by blacksmiths who had the most transferable skills which aligned with the construction and function of those early engines. However, as cars started to develop, governments released new safety regulations and consumers demanded more speed and convenience in the design and construction of their vehicles, so the need for trained professionals became more necessary. And it wasn’t just cars that needed repairs – soon, farm machinery became more technological and thus required more of an expert eye in keeping tractors running safely and efficiently across farmland. Likewise, business trucks and vans became more commonplace on the roads and across various industries, calling on experts to repair damage done by users and through everyday wear and tear.
And then in 1960, the first MOT tests were demanded as a way of performing basic and frequent tests on vehicles aged ten years and over to ensure that they were still operating safely and efficiently. At first, these tests were voluntary – however by 1961 the high failure rate meant that the starting age for the MOT was brought down to seven years, and the test was expanded to cover more areas than the mere brakes, lights and steering test which it started with. In 1967 the testable age for an MOT was brought down again to three years, while in 1983 the age for testing ambulances, larger vehicles and other public vehicles like taxis was brought down again to just one year old. MOT’s today apply to every automotive vehicle and are all subject to a standard fee plus the cost of any repairs which need to be made to the vehicle in order for it to pass.
It was the rise of the MOT and other vehicle tests like this across the world which was responsible for a surge in repairs and servicing demands in the 1960’s and beyond, with consumers everywhere suddenly needing access to trained professionals who could perform these tests and who could find solutions to any issues which arose during the test.
The repairs and servicing industry is one of very few retail industries which not only relies more on professional know-how than the provision of a physical product, but which also capitalises on necessity and legal requirement more than consumer marketing. The fact is that consumers cannot choose to ignore the servicing and repairs industry – they must still submit their vehicles for regular testing, and when something goes wrong, they must find a way to fix it. Where marketing comes in is in the advertising of certain automotive garages and repair shops, with many relying on their local communities as loyal and returning customers, while others choose to specialise in the servicing of specific makes and models in order to create a feeling of narrowed expertise for a limited target market.
What this in particular does is create an air of reliability which comes with the specialisation in a certain topic or industry – just as you might expect expertise and knowledge if you were to speak to a teacher of a certain subject, you expect the same level of specialist knowledge from a garage which focusses on the repair and servicing of specific vehicles. This also expands beyond specific makes and models to encompass specific vehicle types – for example motorcycle garages and mechanics, farm machinery mechanics, lorry and van garages, and sports car garages. In short, for those garages which offer this exclusive experience to consumers who own specific car models and makes, half of the marketing is done simply in advertising their service offering.
From there, and for those garages and mechanics who service and perform repairs on a wider variety of vehicles, a great deal of their marketing comes through in the pricing structure of their various repairs and services – with testimonials, reviews and deals all adding up to create a valuable consumer proposition which can make or break the success of a retailer or business. Some of the best ways that service and repair providers can create a high end experience for consumers include:
One of these points references an area of the repairs and servicing industry which is particularly prominent when it comes to the quality of service and the creation of pricing strategies – that is the way that cost prices are based on both the purchase and provision of any replacement parts and also on the labour fee and the time it takes for the job to be done. If a repair or servicing job is straightforward and can be performed quickly by a single mechanic or serviceman then the overall fee will be lower than a job which takes the expertise of more than one employee at a garage.
While many of the most successful garages and mechanics are local providers to their own communities, some of the big names brands and franchises in the industry include:
Two of these retail names deal specifically with one of the most common automotive repair sectors in the entire industry – the replacement and repair of windscreens and bodywork scratches and dents. The fact is that the world of cars and vehicles is dangerous, and that bumps and scratches are commonplace through the fault of the driver or other drivers. Aesthetic repairs are some of the most popular demands of the modern consumer market, while windscreen repairs have also become so commonplace that service providers are now able to change windscreens in a matter of hours. This leads to one of the biggest trends framing the way that consumers are interacting with and using the automotive repairs and servicing industry – the rise in mobile repair providers and servicemen.
The rise in mobile repairs and servicing companies is due largely to the continued calls for convenience. As consumers look to factor vehicle servicing into their already busy lives, so the rise in mobile companies which travel out to workplaces and private residences has created an on-demand industry trend designed to meet those convenience needs. Companies such as Autoglass repair work from vans, taking bookings and providing repair slots to multiple customers every day as they travel around local areas replacing windscreens and repairing cracks in order to support and ensure the safety of drivers as they go about their day. What this rise in mobile repair and service companies means is that consumers who might otherwise avoid getting their vehicle fixed can now indulge in repairs without going out of their way or losing access to their vehicle – essentially meaning that there are less vehicles on the road which need repairs and which could break down at any moment.
Of course, if those vehicles were to break down, there are retail names and companies which are there to help – one of the most renowned being The AA which not only deals in various insurance policies for vehicles and beyond, but also specialises in supporting consumers with various breakdowns, offering their members access to free call outs, free tows to garages and a variety of tools and accessories designed to remind consumers which services their vehicle needs and when. The AA recently launched its own app, onto which consumers can plug the details of their vehicles and list things like the last service date, the next MOT date, any repairs or accidents that have occurred, and any exterior alterations that have been made to the vehicle. This in turn ensures that when that consumers goes to sell or trade in their vehicle, they have all the relevant information to hand quickly and easily.
Another trend in the repairs and servicing industry is the changing role of automotive repair shops as more and more vehicles become reliable, durable, and electrically charged. The kinds of regular services that vehicles used to need included oil changes and oil filter adjustments, engine repairs and fuel tank repairs. However as vehicles are becoming more durable in their construction, and as consumers are becoming more drawn to the pull of the electric vehicle market, it seems as though many of these previously frequent needs will start to dip – leaving the role of the repair shop and service providers changing drastically in line with the new and improve vehicles on the market. In order to remain relevant and to continue to provide vital services, these companies and retailers will have to train in different areas of vehicle servicing – learning how to maintain and repair electric engines and expanding their repertoire outside of what used to be the bread and butter of the industry.
The fact is that the automotive industry is changing in line with climate and consumer demands and adjustments, and so the repairs and servicing industry is going to have to change with it if it hopes to remain relevant on the modern market.
One final trend which refers to the shift in the kinds of vehicles being used by the modern market and consumer base, is the decline in the use of second-hand dealers and replacement part specialists. As vehicles continue to adapt at an ever-growing rate, the way that these vehicles work is also changing – no longer do they rely on the same batteries and use the same parts just in a different shape of car. Today, the very intricate details of these vehicles are being used to operate in different ways, and so second-hand parts are no longer viable in fixing up modern vehicles. Of course, these will remain a prominent part of the industry for classic car repairs and projects – however as more and more consumers trade in their older models for new electric and hybrid vehicles, the industry is likely to see second-hand dealership and scrap yards disappearing in popularity and usability.
Enter your email address below and we’ll be in touch with the latest deals and discount codes for