Economy/Aging Vehicles Continue to Drive More DIY Auto Repairs, According to AutoMD.com’s “2012 DIY Report”
DIYers are Saving Money, are More Confident – and Enjoying Doing Repairs Themselves!
CARSON, Calif., Feb. 1, 2012 — The tough economy, which has led to an aging vehicle population, continues to spur more car owners to do more of their own auto repairs, and they report saving money by doing so – according to the "2012 DIY Report" from AutoMD.com. In fact, even those who, historically, have never done their own repairs say the economy is making them much more likely to try. Over half of DIYers admit to postponing auto repairs in the past twelve months, and the economy is the culprit for nearly two-thirds of them.
But there's a silver lining: DIYers are saving money and report becoming more confident since they have been performing more of their own auto repairs over the past two years AND they're taking pleasure in doing it themselves. 'Because I enjoy it' trailed only 'to save money' as the top two reasons people are doing more DIY. And one in four report undertaking more DIY auto repairs because there is now more information available online.
The AutoMD.com report is based on an online survey conducted among over 11,000 car owners from November 2011 – January 2012, and offers a snapshot of how the economy has impacted the auto repair behavior of car owners – both DIYers and DFMers (the do-it-for-me's).
DIYers Doing More Repairs / DFMers More Likely to Try
Nearly half (49%) of self-reported DIYers say they are doing more auto repairs themselves than they did the previous year – an increase of 29% from last year – with 69% claiming they are more likely to attempt a more difficult repair this year than last. Meanwhile, 77% of confirmed DFMers (those who typically never do repairs themselves) say current economic conditions have made them more likely to attempt their own repairs.
Bad Economy and Aging Vehicle Population Key Factors
While it's no longer news that consumers are holding onto their vehicles for extended periods of times, with each update the average age of a vehicle on the road keeps lengthening and newly-released data reveals it has just broken a new record of 10.8 years.(1) This ongoing trend was underscored in a 2011 AutoMD.com report, which found that 80% of car owners surveyed planned to put 50,000 or more miles on their current vehicle than they had on their previous one.(2)
AutoMD.com's new data shows that 64% of respondents now have a vehicle with over 100K miles, an increase of 20% from the previous year's study. And over 40% now drive a vehicle that is over 10 years old. The economy and people holding onto their vehicles longer are clearly key factors in the uptick in DIY repair – and 42% of survey respondents confirmed that these two forces are driving them to DIY more.
Saving Money with DIY
"Saving Money" is the number one reason cited by DIYers for doing their own auto repairs, at 83%. And they apparently are saving a bundle: 60% report they have saved over $500 a year DIYing it and buying their own parts. Interestingly, 89% of DFMers said that if they could purchase a part and bring it into the shop for installation when they go in for repairs, they would.
Which best describes why you choose to work on your own vehicles?
Choose all that apply
To save money: 83%
I enjoy it: 64%
I trust myself more than a mechanic: 39%
I have the expertise: 36%
I have classic or exotic car, and it's a hobby: 15%
Putting it Off
In spite of the increase in auto repair DIYing, well over half of the respondents (57%) also admitted that they had postponed auto repairs and maintenance in the last twelve months. "Lack of time" was the reason cited by nearly one-third, but the vast majority (60%) reported that the economy was again to blame.
DIYers More Confident with More Info and Practice, and DIYing for Fun
While 52% of DFMers said that 'not knowing how to' or 'fear of breaking something' was holding them back from doing auto repairs themselves, 91% were open to performing their own basic repairs if they had easy access to 'how-to' info. And of DIYers who said they are more likely this year than last to do a more difficult repair, 58% said it was either because there is more info available online (27%) or because they were more confident from doing their own repairs over the last two years (30%). Importantly, DIY is a labor of love for many, with 64% reporting they are doing their own repairs because they enjoy it!
utoMD.com™ (www.automd.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of US Auto Parts Network, Inc., (Nasdaq: PRTS), is the most comprehensive and unbiased free online automotive repair resource designed to empower car owners with the best way to repair their vehicles. Backed by a team of automotive data specialists and certified auto mechanics who are advocates for the car owner, AutoMD.com allows car owners and DIYers to 1. Troubleshoot car problems, 2. Know how much auto repairs should cost, 3. Understand the steps needed and the time it should take with How-to Auto Repair guides, 4. Find the right local auto repair shop at the right price for their issue, and 5. Get auto repair questions answered by the AutoMD.com community. AutoMD.com was named Best Automotive Website in the 8th annual American Business Awards, also known as the Stevie® Awards. AutoMD Mobile is available for the iPhone at iTunes.