Workshop costs on older cars surges 45% since 2021

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The gap between older and younger cars in terms of average aftersales invoice value is continuing to widen, according to new analysis from automotive marketing agency Marketing Delivery.

The company looked at the difference in the average invoice value of aftersales work carried out by franchised dealers across the UK for cars in different age brackets.

It found that, during 2023, the average invoice value was £480 for cars in the six- to 10-year-old age bracket, compared to £327 for those under three years old – a difference of 47%.

Notably, this percentage gap has been increasing year-on-year; in 2022 the difference was 45%, while in 2021 it was 34%.

The company also identified that the average workshop invoice value in the first half of 2024 for vehicles in the six- to 10-year-old age bracket was £496, a 45% rise over the same category of work undertaken in 2021.

Many retailers use discounted labour rates and reduced cost-per-job pricing as a strategy to retain older-car business.

However, Marketing Delivery says safety recalls can be used to maximise engagement and loyalty at all age brackets – without the need to erode margins.

“It is very simple to implement a recall campaign, which is proven to increase workshop utilisation and boost average invoice value, while at the same time looking after the interests of the customer,” comments Charlotte Murray, commercial director at Marketing Delivery.

“Automation allows us to quickly and easily cross-reference clients’ databases with the SMMT outstanding safety recall database to identify appropriate lapsed customers, and then automatically issue personalised alerts regarding any required work. This can be done tactically, for example when workshops are quiet, or on an ongoing basis as part of a customer retention and reactivation strategy,” she added.


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