British cars are among the best maintained in the world, with UK motorists spending a collective £21.1 billion a year on servicing and repair. That’s according to a new study – the first official industry analysis of the UK automotive aftermarket – published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The report, The Importance of the Aftermarket to the UK Economy reveals that UK consumers spend an average £695.39 on car maintenance every year – some 12 per cent higher than the average global spend per car of £621.62.2 The report also states that compared with other markets there are fewer cars in disrepair, generating excess pollution or needing new brakes on British roads.
With more than 42,500 vehicle service and repair locations of all types, the UK aftermarket is a huge, diverse and highly competitive industry. With a strong franchised dealer network and the largest share of work carried out by independently owned businesses in Europe at 64 per cent, it offers consumers a wide choice of where and how they have their cars serviced – and how much they spend.
The report also reveals the significant economic contribution made by the UK automotive aftermarket, which delivers an annual £12.2 billion direct to the UK economy and supports more than 345,000 British jobs. As the number and age of vehicles on UK roads increases, thanks to a healthy new car market, ever-improving quality and ever-more advanced servicing techniques, by 2022 the UK aftermarket is projected to be worth some £28 billion with an employee base of around 400,000.
The report’s findings come as the first ever Automechanika aftermarket trade show in the UK opens at Birmingham’s NEC. The exhibition brand already has a presence in 14 markets and the growing UK sector is the latest to be identified as a key investment destination.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,“The UK’s aftermarket is one of the most competitive in the world and plays a critical role in keeping Britain’s 30 million-plus cars roadworthy. Robust competition and a strong independent sector have helped reduce the cost of vehicle ownership in the UK and provided greater choice to consumers. For this growth to be sustained, however, the sector must stay abreast of evolving vehicle technologies and changing mobility patterns.”