Franchises increase share of car repair market

Franchised motor trade businesses have increased their share of the aftersales market thanks to a rise in new car sales, figures have revealed.

According to research by Castrol Profession, franchises' share of workshop entries for cars up to two years old has risen to 73 per cent from 66 per cent over the past five years. It is suggested that service plans and a lack of consumer awareness of where their vehicles can be serviced in the independent sector has meant that many are returning to the larger franchises they buy their cars from, rather than using smaller garages.

If any car repair business, from small independent workshops to large franchise outlets, witness a notable upturn in trade volumes it is worth checking that its motor trade insurance policy still provides adequate cover. More business could mean more vehicles stored on site, more employees or more equipment, which could render the business' insurance protection too small for the total value of the assets within the premises, which could in turn see it left out of pocket in the case of extensive damage or theft.

The findings from Castrol also highlight a fall in market share for independent servicing and repair outlets – the sector has seen its market share for cars up to two years old drop to 27 per cent, down from 34 per cent in 2008 and 42 per cent in 2003. However, the drop is far less pronounced among older vehicles, with independent garages still holding a 65 per cent market share of workshop entries among three to four-year-old vehicles, a drop of seven per cent since 2008.