How about this for a bit of an eye-watering figure? In the UK, four million car owners have kept their vehicles off the road at some stage over the past two years because they couldn’t afford service and repair bills.

We are constantly scouring the internet for news and information about what’s going on in the automotive world which we think is of interest and use to our customers and this latest piece of research from Kwik Fit caused us to stop in our tracks.

4,000,000

Four million drivers out of the 21 million who said they needed repairs carried out on their cars, claimed they didn’t undertake them because it was too costly, according to the research.

That’s one in five (19%) avoiding repairs to save money with two million of them keeping their car off the road for a month or longer as a result.

Of course, we all know that’s a short term strategy and one which is likely to cost the hapless motorist more dosh in the long run. However, Kwik Fit has usefully provided the figure to prove it:-

More than three-quarters or 77% of car owners who did not book their car in for its annual service had to have repairs undertaken in the last two years compared to 56% who maintained their car’s annual service.

1,200,000

More than 1.2 million drivers admitted to having driven their car when it was not in a roadworthy condition because they couldn’t afford repairs whilst twice the number of men than women admitted to have done so.

Meanwhile, many drivers opt for a bit of DIY and a third who either asked a friend or family member to carry out the fix or undertook the repair themselves said they were concerned about the quality. And almost half a million said they didn’t do anything about it because they sold the car soon after! Another good reason for car buyers to purchase their next used car from a trusted garage and not opt for a private sale.

So what can you do to encourage drivers who are forgoing regular servicing or not undertaking repairs to book their car in to your garage?

The first step is to identify these people. If that sounds impossible, try this exercise… Log onto your database and call up a report to find out which customers have booked their cars into your business over the past six months to a year.

If you are using Carvue this is easy – you can do it from home whilst you’re sat in front of the TV on your tablet or smartphone because everything is stored in the cloud so you can access it at anytime and anywhere.

Once you have them in front of you, find those where you identified work which would be needed but they have yet to have it undertaken. Then send them an email or a personal letter which focuses on the work you suggested their vehicle required. For example, if you told Mr Smith he would need new tyres in about 2,000 miles and three months have elapsed, send him a gentle reminder accompanied by an offer. Mr Smith has probably forgotten and will be grateful that you have helped him potentially avoid penalty points on his licence and a fine as well as ensuring his vehicle is safe for the road.

If you are not sure how to find this information readily, give us a call and a member of our help squad will gladly show you how to do it.