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How incentives could save servicing from the scrapheap
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How incentives could save servicing from the scrapheap

26/03/2017

While most motorists appreciate that regular servicing makes financial sense when it comes to retaining vehicle value, the costs involved in annual maintenance put many drivers off, leaving thousands of unsafe cars on the road. This might save money in the short-term, but are the risks really worth it?

New research published earlier this month found nearly one in five UK drivers admitted to getting behind the wheel of unsafe vehicles because they couldn’t afford the bill. The study, commissioned by motoreasy, also revealed nearly a quarter (24.7 per cent) of drivers under 55 avoided necessary repair work due to costs.

It is clearly a worrying situation that needs to be addressed immediately. High numbers of unsafe cars on the roads significantly increases the risk of a collision, while increasing servicing costs in the long-term. This obviously creates significant problems for car owners, but it also poses issues for dealers. The Government proposal for extending the time before new cars need an MoT from three years to four could further reduce potential aftersales revenue.

To make matters worse, last month BBC News reported that servicing costs on new cars could rise due to a row between manufacturers, repair shops, fleet operators and insurance companies over who should have access to the information they generate as vehicles become more computerised.

Aside from the safety and financial ramifications, this highlights the growing challenge faced by dealerships to attract custom and revenue amid a volatile UK economy. Convincing drivers to pay for work they don’t ‘think’ they need is difficult when other essential costs such as insurance, petrol and road tax are factored in, especially when the latter looks set to increase next month with the introduction of the new VED tax. The new levy will take into account both CO2 emissions and list value on all new cars bought after April 1.

In order to solve these issues, dealerships must consider ways to incentivise servicing and repair work. Bumper allows customers to spread interest-free payments over several months, making them much more affordable and attractive.

Unless new and innovative solutions that benefit motorists are adopted, servicing and necessary repairs will continue to slide down the ever-expanding list of financial burdens drivers endure, meaning our roads become increasingly dangerous.

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