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 min read

Car dealers should target young drivers to avoid missing out on servicing revenue

• Drivers aged 18-34 are most likely to have put off getting their car serviced because of social distancing concerns during the pandemic • Dealers which accelerated adoption of digital solutions because of Covid-19 are benefitting while those still to embrace the technology are missing out • Nearly half of 18-24 year old motorists delayed service procedures, as opposed to fewer than one in 10 of those aged 65+

Car dealers could be missing out on servicing revenue from younger drivers as they are the most likely to have put off getting their vehicle serviced because of social distancing concerns caused by the pandemic,according to research by dealership software provider, Tjekvik*.

Nearly half (47%) of 18-24 year olds, as well as three in 10(30%) in the 25-34 bracket have delayed their service at least once because of Covid-19,while at least a quarter have put off the procedure more than once since the pandemic hit.

The results of the survey also reflect a general trend among motorists favouring digital over in person communication with service advisor staff. A recent online poll of 1,000 customers by a premium German manufacturer showed that a massive 80% would prefer to use digital technology for their service appointments.

Tjekvik CEO and co-founder, Christian Mark, said: “Many car dealers accelerated their adoption of digital solutions, including ours, in order to maximise their businesses under the Government’s Covid-19 mitigation measures and those dealers are now enjoying the benefits. These include a surge in added value sales, more efficient processes and increased customer satisfaction.

“But there are many dealers which have not yet embraced these solutions and they now risk falling behind significantly when it comes to optimising their aftersales performance.”

Tjekvik provides self-service software that allows customers to check their vehicle in for service or maintenance procedures using a touchscreen kiosk and secure, contactless key drop and collection.Alternatively, they can check their vehicle in remotely from home using the same system and key drop facility. This helps dealers allay any customer fears around social distancing, while still allowing motorists to stick to their servicing schedule.

As well as social distancing concerns, Tjekvik’s study found that the strain put on household finances caused by Covid-19 had also persuaded drivers to put off booking service appointments, with the same 18-24 and 25-34 year old brackets again most likely to delay (35% and 37% respectively).

In contrast, fewer than one in 10 drivers aged 65 or over have put off the annual vehicle service because of distancing worries and more than three quarters (77%) have stuck to their servicing schedule whether being concerned about money or not.

Overall, across all age groups, nearly a quarter (22%) of vehicle owners have decided to delay servicing procedures due to financial concerns.

“It’s perhaps not surprising that vehicle servicing is one of the things that has been put off, given that lockdowns over the past two years have meant people are travelling less in general. Our research shows that the majority of people have driven less than normal, with 53% saying they have spent less time behind the wheel.

“While every country has a legally required standard of roadworthiness, servicing is discretionary and many motorists may have felt that fewer miles travelled meant less need for servicing. However, cars lying dormant on driveways can still develop issues and we would always recommend that servicing remains something that people do annually.”

The number of people putting a hold on taking their cars to workshops follows a general belt-tightening trend. More than a third (35%) of those included in Tjekvik’s research report spending somewhat or much less during the pandemic, with women less likely to have ‘splashed the cash’ than men.

 Mark concluded: “As the requirement for distancing reduces,more people are starting to come back to the dealerships in person but many still feel the need to protect themselves. At the same time, the pressure placed on dealership staff, during the busy morning vehicle drop-off period in particular, could increase again so the need for self-service is not going to disappear.”

*Source: OnePoll survey of 2,000 motorists conducted in February / March 2022