The barriers to mobile vehicle repair are coming down and the market is now growing at a much faster pace than the do-it-for-me segment, a recent report found.
From 2016-2020, the mobile repair market grew 16 per cent annually — then twice that pace the next two years, reported Lang Marketing.
“Between 2016 and 2022, mobile repair climbed at an annual pace more than ten times faster than the overall DIFM light vehicle market,” it said in its report, Mobile Repair Surges Ten Times DIFM Pace.
There used to be three key barriers, ones that were believed would insulate vehicle repair from disruption: The need for hands-on technician diagnosis, required parts at the place of repair and the value of a personal relationship between vehicle owners and repair outlets.
But that’s changed now. Advancing technology and the differing values of younger generations have played roles in significantly altering how consumers decide when and where to have their vehicles repaired.
“The rapid growth of mobile repair has demonstrated that the barriers to auto repair disruption are no longer as formidable as once thought,” Lang’s report said.
Mobile repair, it observed, can perform more than 85 per cent of repairs in one visit to the client, with an expanding range of repairs coming.
“Mobile operations are broadening the scope of repairs they perform by having customers answer a series of questions to determine what is wrong with their vehicle,” Lang said. “In this way, mobile repair operations are reducing the need for ‘hands-on’ diagnostics by brick-and-mortar technicians across an expanding range of repairs.”
Operators are addressing diagnostic issues with artificial intelligence and the development of massive databases of vehicle symptoms.
Then, mobile technicians can bring the needed repair parts to the site of the vehicle.
“Even brick-and-mortar repair outlets often discover the need for additional parts once a job is underway and related issues are uncovered,” Lang’s report observed. “In these cases, parts are purchased from local sources. In the same way, mobile repair operators can obtain additional parts required as the repair job develops.”
And with the younger demographics putting less value into face-to-face relationships, that competitive advantage for physical shops is diminishing, the report noted.