By Richard Robinson

  • Almost half (45%) of motorists have “botched” a car repair or maintenance job that then needed professional help to fix.
  • The average mistake sets drivers back £803, with those in the north-east having to pay the most at £1,050.
  • Analysis over the last decade shows a shift in DIY repairs, with the majority (97%) now fixing or maintaining their car, compared to 75% of motorists ten years ago.

These were the staggering numbers published by Aviva at the end of August, assessing the impact of DIY car repairs. While it would be all too easy to assume this related to people undertaking repair work on older cars, this does not appear to be the case.

When looking at the vehicle type, the data reveals that most hybrid and electric vehicle owners have attempted a repair or maintenance job in the last year, at 97% and 96%, respectively. Those with hybrid cars admit to paying £998 to correct a mistake, with electric vehicle owners saying they spent the most at £1,279.

The three most common – and costly – mistakes include checking and topping up fluids (22%), replacing the car battery (21%) and replacing a broken interior component such as a door handle or seatbelt (20%).

Aviva suggests that car drivers are relying on online resources to guide them. Just over half (51%) turn to video-sharing platforms for repair and maintenance tips, followed by websites and blogs (32%) and social media (19%). Almost half felt confident about fixing their car on their own, relying on these resources.

We are on a quest to help retailers remodel their Service, Maintenance and Repair (SMR) in the face of falling servicing needs for today’s emerging new cars, notably BEVs. With this in mind, I cannot help but wonder if adding some online/social content to retailers’ digital presence about SMR, the availability of checks and repairs, and the affordability or cost/benefit of getting it right would help create awareness and interest in the benefits of going to a franchised dealer and start to break down negative cost perceptions. It also has to be a huge opportunity when it comes to Electronic Vehicle Health Checks and the potential risks of home repairs.