Auto Service World
News   November 1, 2022   by Adam Malik

How different generations approach auto repair

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Millennials, or Generation Y, are the fastest-growing generation in the do-it-for-me marketplace, according to a new report.

Between 2012 and 2022, those born between 1981 and 1999 — aged between 23 and 41 — saw their DIFM volume soar from 28 per cent to 36 per cent, reported Lang Marketing in its Aftermarket iReport, Generation Changes Alter DIFM Buying Habits.

That places them just ahead of Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) who went 33 per cent to 35 per cent market share over the same period.

Baby Boomers, aged 58-76, saw their reliance on DIFM drop, down to 29 per cent from a high of 39 per cent.

Gen Zers (born between 2000 and 2014) weren’t included in this year’s research.

These trends show how the rest of the decade will play out, Lang noted. It estimated that by 2030, Baby Boomers’ market share will be in the low double digits. Gen Xers will hold more or less steady at 37 per cent by that time. That leaves Millennials in the leading spot as the biggest generator of DIFM volume.

The three generations were asked about purchasing auto repair online, calling repair outlets, or visiting repair outlets as their preferred choice. Lang called the generational differences “startling.”

It found that almost half of Millennials preferred buying auto repair online compared to calling or visiting repair outlets. By contrast, only a fifth of Baby Boomers preferred going online to purchase auto repair and less than one-third of Gen Xers favoured this approach.

Overall, almost a third (30 per cent) of all consumers preferred calling repair outlets to purchase auto repair. But a closer look shows differences among the generations. This was the preferred choice for Gen Xers (more than 35 per cent), and the second choice for Baby Boomers, about a third. However, barely one-quarter of Millennials preferred to call repair outlets.

When it comes to visiting, nearly half of Boomers preferred this as their first choice. Only one-third of Gen Xers preferred to do so. Only about a quarter of Millennials wanted to visit repair outlets.

“In fact, visiting auto repair outlets was nearly twice as likely to be the top choice among Baby Boomers than Millennials. In contrast, buying auto repair online was more than twice as popular with Millennials than among Baby Boomers,” Lang’s report said.

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