Conventional wisdom would have us believe that new car owners take their vehicles to the OEM dealer network for servicing, with older vehicles being serviced by independent automotive workshops

To date, there has been a lack of data to support or challenge this notion which is why the AAAA engaged ACA Research to conduct the inaugural AAAA industry benchmarking survey.
Members who participated in this survey provided ACA Research with data about the profile of vehicles they serviced. The ACA team aggregated this data to provide industry benchmarks as a valuable resource for AAAA members.
This article focuses on the age profile of vehicles that are seen by independent mechanics and provides some surprising insights about the battleground for vehicle servicing.
The Market Opportunity
There are 16 million vehicles in the Australian car parc. The number of vehicles on the road that are at least 10 years old is about 6.7 million and the number of vehicles that are under three years old is 3.2 million, around a fifth of the total car parc.
ACA Research estimates independent mechanics and workshop chains see 35 million vehicles each year for servicing, pink slips, repairs, tyres, and so on. This indicates a high proportion of aftermarket auto service and repair is performed by independent auto repair shop services.
Reflecting the age of the car parc, nearly a half (16.7 million) of these inspections are for vehicles at least seven years old. This is the segment of the market dominated by independent mechanics and workshop chains.
The space that is more contested is the four million vehicles age three-seven years old, with the independents and chains undertaking 15.9 million inspections a year.

What stands out from the data is the 4.4 million vehicles under three years old that are typically under a manufacturer’s warranty being seen by independents and chains. This is becoming the contested space, as Australian consumers become more aware of their right to have their vehicle serviced, maintained and repaired at competitive prices in the workshop of their choice.
Reflecting the more competitive marketplace, logbook servicing and servicing for warranty also appear to be on an upward trajectory for independents and chains. Forty-three percent are seeing an uplift in logbook servicing and thirty-four percent are seeing a growth in servicing vehicles that are within the manufacturer’s warranty.
With so many service and repair opportunities available today, here are three ways to get in front of prospective customers looking for vehicle servicing:
• Target prospective customers by VIN
• Reach out to new car buyers
• Ramp up your digital presence

This column was prepared for AAA Magazine by ACA Research, our partners in the AAAA Aftermarket Dashboard, which is delivered to your inbox each quarter. For more information, visit or contact Ben Selwyn on